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Upper School Diversity Day 2018

2/15/2018

On Wednesday, February 14, the fifth annual Upper School Diversity Day began with a routine performed by the middle school dance team followed by insight from faculty member, Jeff Kirkman. Mr. Kirkman shared lessons from this year’s Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) and introduced the overarching theme of the day – the idea that individuals wear “masks" to hide certain aspects of themselves from peers, friends, and classmates. The day helped students reflect on what their individual masks were concealing, and how they can be removed.

Cassandra White ’18 and Kepha Lindor ’18, members of the student group “Leaders Empathetically Affecting Diversity” (LEAD), spoke about the role diversity has played in their lives. Their speeches touched on the goal of Diversity Day and classmates were inspired by their personal stories.

Guest speaker Sarah Kaye, American poet and founder of Project VOICE, shared stories of her life as a biracial woman and recited original poetry. Her poems referenced family, ageism, racism, relationships, love, segregation, and her ancestry.

Students spent the remainder of the morning in four sessions of workshops, which consisted of discussions, interactive activities, and, in some cases, learning Japanese calligraphy! Students learned a lot, from how to properly create origami to the steps of an Armenian dance. In one workshop, students illustrated their figurative masks to reflect on creating a community in which students feel comfortable being their true selves.

Another workshop featured Chris Collins P ’27 ’29, New England Cable News sports anchor, who discussed the idea of racism in Boston. Students enjoyed hearing about Collins' past work experience in other cities, and engaged in an honest conversation about Boston’s racist reputation.

We’d like to give a special thanks to all of our faculty and students who led various workshops throughout the day.

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